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CloudWatch Exporter

An exporter for Amazon CloudWatch, for Prometheus.

Building and running

mvn package to build.

java -jar target/cloudwatch_exporter-*-SNAPSHOT-jar-with-dependencies.jar 9106 example.yml to run.

The most recent pre-built JAR can be found at

Credentials and permissions

The CloudWatch Exporter uses the
which offers a variety of ways to provide credentials.
This includes the AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY environment

The cloudwatch:ListMetrics and cloudwatch:GetMetricStatistics IAM permissions are required.


The configuration is in YAML, an example with common options:

region: eu-west-1
 - aws_namespace: AWS/ELB
   aws_metric_name: RequestCount
   aws_dimensions: [AvailabilityZone, LoadBalancerName]
     LoadBalancerName: [myLB]
   aws_statistics: [Sum]
Name Description
region Required. The AWS region to connect to.
role_arn Optional. The AWS role to assume. Useful for retrieving cross account metrics.
metrics Required. A list of CloudWatch metrics to retrieve and export
aws_namespace Required. Namespace of the CloudWatch metric.
aws_metric_name Required. Metric name of the CloudWatch metric.
aws_dimensions Optional. Which dimension to fan out over.
aws_dimension_select Optional. Which dimension values to filter. Specify a map from the dimension name to a list of values to select from that dimension.
aws_dimension_select_regex Optional. Which dimension values to filter on with a regular expression. Specify a map from the dimension name to a list of regexes that will be applied to select from that dimension.
aws_statistics Optional. A list of statistics to retrieve, values can include Sum, SampleCount, Minimum, Maximum, Average. Defaults to all statistics unless extended statistics are requested.
aws_extended_statistics Optional. A list of extended statistics to retrieve. Extended statistics currently include percentiles in the form pN or pN.N.
delay_seconds Optional. The newest data to request. Used to avoid collecting data that has not fully converged. Defaults to 600s. Can be set globally and per metric.
range_seconds Optional. How far back to request data for. Useful for cases such as Billing metrics that are only set every few hours. Defaults to 600s. Can be set globally and per metric.
period_seconds Optional. Period to request the metric for. Only the most recent data point is used. Defaults to 60s. Can be set globally and per metric.

The above config will export time series such as

# HELP aws_elb_request_count_sum CloudWatch metric AWS/ELB RequestCount Dimensions: ["AvailabilityZone","LoadBalancerName"] Statistic: Sum Unit: Count
# TYPE aws_elb_request_count_sum gauge
aws_elb_request_count_sum{job="aws_elb",load_balancer_name="mylb",availability_zone="eu-west-1c",} 42.0
aws_elb_request_count_sum{job="aws_elb",load_balancer_name="myotherlb",availability_zone="eu-west-1c",} 7.0

All metrics are exported as gauges.

Timestamps from CloudWatch are not passed to Prometheus, pending resolution of
#398. CloudWatch has
been observed to sometimes take minutes for reported values to converge. The
default delay_seconds will result in data that is at least 10 minutes old
being requested to mitigate this.

In addition cloudwatch_exporter_scrape_error will be non-zero if an error
occurred during the scrape, and cloudwatch_exporter_scrape_duration_seconds
contains the duration of that scrape.

Special handling for certain DynamoDB metrics

The DynamoDB metrics listed below break the usual CloudWatch data model.

  • ConsumedReadCapacityUnits
  • ConsumedWriteCapacityUnits
  • ProvisionedReadCapacityUnits
  • ProvisionedWriteCapacityUnits
  • ReadThrottleEvents
  • WriteThrottleEvents

When these metrics are requested in the TableName dimension CloudWatch will
return data only for the table itself, not for its Global Secondary Indexes.
Retrieving data for indexes requires requesting data across both the TableName
and GlobalSecondaryIndexName dimensions. This behaviour is different to that
of every other CloudWatch namespace and requires that the exporter handle these
metrics differently to avoid generating duplicate HELP and TYPE lines.

When exporting one of the problematic metrics for an index the exporter will use
a metric name in the format aws_dynamodb_METRIC_index_STATISTIC rather than
the usual aws_dynamodb_METRIC_STATISTIC. The regular naming scheme will still
be used when exporting these metrics for a table, and when exporting any other
DynamoDB metrics not listed above.

Reloading Configuration

There are two ways to reload configuration:

  1. Send a SIGHUP signal to the pid: kill -HUP 1234
  2. POST to the reload endpoint: curl -X localhost:9106/-/reload

If an error occurs during the reload, check the exporter's log output.


Amazon charges for every API request, see the current charges.

Every metric retrieved requires one API request, which can include multiple
statistics. In addition, when aws_dimensions is provided, the exporter needs
to do API requests to determine what metrics to request. This should be
negligible compared to the requests for the metrics themselves.

If you have 100 API requests every minute, with the price of USD$10 per million
requests (as of Jan 2015), that is around $45 per month. The
cloudwatch_requests_total counter tracks how many requests are being made.

Docker Image

To run the CloudWatch exporter on Docker, you can use the prom/cloudwatch-exporter
image. It exposes port 9106 and expects the config in /config/config.yml. To
configure it, you can either bind-mount a config from your host:

$ docker run -p 9106 -v /path/on/host/config.yml:/config/config.yml prom/cloudwatch-exporter

Or you create a config file named /config/config.yml along with following
Dockerfile in the same directory and build it with docker build:

FROM prom/cloudwatch-exporter
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